One of the most famous quotes about the golf grip was from Ben Hogan who said, “Golf begins with a good grip. In golf there are certain things you must do precisely, where being approximately right is not enough. The grip is one area that being half right accomplishes nothing. Being painstaking about learning a proper grip rewards you a thousand times over.” And he was right. The grip you use will have a tremendous impact on your golf swing.
The most important impact your grip will have is how the face of your club will contact the ball. When the face of the club hits the ball squarely, you will have more shots that are straight. It’s that simple. Remember, the grip is the primary part of your body that controls the clubface.
When gripping the golf club, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ way to hold the club. However, there are three basic grips that golfers use: the ten finger grip, the interlock grip, and the Vardon Overlap grip.
The ten finger grip is similar to a baseball bat grip. The top of one hand is touching the bottom of the other, as they hold the golf club, but they are not overlapping or interlocked in any way. This grip is not used that frequently.
The second grip is the interlock grip where the index finger of the left hand is interlocked with the little finger of the right hand. It provides for a solid unit feeling between the hands and gives strength and stability to the hands as they move through the golf swing. Again, this is not a commonly used grip; however two of the most famous golfers ever, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, both use it. So, it has it fans.
The third and most commonly known grip is the Vardon overlap grip. It is similar to the interlock grip, with the only difference being that instead of interlocking, the little finger from the right hand overlaps the index finger of the left hand.
When gripping your golf club one of the most critical things to consider is how tightly you are going to hold the club. The sweet spot you are trying to get to is where you are not holding the club too tight while at the same time you are not holding it too loosely. As a rule of thumb, if you find yourself getting blisters, you are holding the club too tight. The tighter you grip the club, the less flexible your wrists become, causing the club head to move slower as it strikes the ball. The looser you grip the club, the faster the club head will move. Conversely, if you find that you are slicing a lot of your shots, one cause may be that your grip is too loose, and you will want to have a stronger grip.
A common mistake for young players to make is to hold the club too tightly. If you imagine yourself swinging a tube of toothpaste, without letting any spill out that is the correct amount of pressure you should have.